As highlighted in this prior post, in October 2019, the DOJ announced that Cyrus Ahsani and Saman Ahsani (the former CEO and Chief Operations Officer of Monaco-based Unaoil) pleaded guilty in March 2019 to one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA for their roles in a scheme to corruptly facilitate millions of dollars in bribe payments to officials in multiple countries.
The DOJ also announced that Steven Hunter (a former business development manager at Unaoil) pleaded guilty in August 2018 to one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA.
As noted in the DOJ’s release, the Ahsanis were scheduled to be sentenced in April 2020 and Hunter was scheduled to be sentenced in March 2020.
However, this August 2022 post highlighted how the defendants still had yet to sentenced and wondered when sentencing would occur.
According to court dockets, sentencing of Cyrus Ahsani and Saman Ahsani was pushed back until October 2020, then February 2021, then September 2021, then December 2021, then June 2022, then December 2022, and then January 30, 2023. Each time sentencing was delayed, there were sealed filings on the court docket.
Yesterday, Saman Ahsani was sentenced and the docket entry states as follows:
“Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Andrew S Hanen: Sentencing held on 1/30/2023 for Saman Ahsani (1) as to Count 1 of the Indictment. The Court ruled on pending motions on the record. There being no objections to the PSR, the Court adopted the PSR and sentenced Defendant to the custody of the BOP for a term of 12 months and 1 day; 1 year SRT; no fine; $100 SA. The Court recommended that Defendant be permitted to return to his home country to serve his supervised release. The Court further recommended placement in the facility at Beaumont, Texas. The Defendant may self-surrender at a time and place to be determined by the BOP.”
According to court dockets, Cyrus Ahsani’s sentencing date has been pushed back to August 21, 2023.
According to court dockets, sentencing of Hunter was pushed back until October 2020, then January 2021, then May 2021, then September 2021, then December 2021, then July 2022, then December 2022, and now is set for February 27, 2023. Each time sentencing has been delayed, there are sealed filings on the court docket.
Interestingly, a collection of media companies, including the Financial Times, recently filed a motion in the Saman Ahsani matter seeking to unseal various sentencing memoranda.
According to this Financial Times article:
“The US Department of Justice had sought a 15-month sentence, a recommendation that took into account Ahsani’s co-operation, the court heard. He will serve 12 months and one day in a minimum security prison and will pay a $1.5mn penalty.
Wearing a dark blue suit and accompanied by a trio of lawyers, Saman Ahsani appeared in court on Monday and told Judge Andrew Hanen that he had “made a very poor life choice” but had sought to make amends by helping the US investigation into Unaoil. He said he had “taken on numerous risks to assist the US”.